Pastor Chris’ Corona Quarantine Epistles to the Flock of AIC Ngong Road, in Dispersion and Isolation. 79th.
Dear Ambassadors of Christ,
In today’s passage (1 John 2:18-23), we shift gears to address the problem of false teachers from the perspective of the End Times. In the previous passage, John called out the hypocrisy of those who claim to love God, yet they also love the world. In such a case, we can conclude that they don’t love God.
Evidence of the End Times (v. 18). When John says the last hour, he obviously does not mean a literal, 60 minute period. Rather, it is an expression that points to the end times, all as one period. “Hour” also suggests that the time is short, or imminent, meaning, any time, now. The teaching of Jesus, which the apostle must have repeated to the Christians countless times, had indicated about false Christ (Matthew 24:5,11,24) and the Antichrist (Matthew 24:15). John says that many antichrists have already come, obviously alluding to the proliferation of false teachers. This is evidence that end times are upon us.
Evidence of the Exclusion of the Traitors (vv. 19,22,23). John now points out the real spiritual condition of the false teachers: They Never Belonged (v. 19). If a person abandons the faith, it is not that they have lost their salvation. They never had any, to begin with. Without belaboring the point, it is clear from the teaching of scripture, including what John says later in this letter (5:11-13), that Christ saves us for eternity and that once born again, we are his forever (John 5:24; 10:28). True believers do not abandon the faith. When a person leaves, it is evident that he/she never belonged, in the first place. They Never Believed (vv. 22-23).
Faith in Christ is a package. There are basic tenets of the faith that are not negotiable. If a person denies, as some did back then, that the Jesus who was born of Mary and who was crucified, rose again and ascended into heaven, is the Son of God, if that truth is twisted in any way, then the twister is a liar and an antichrist. If a person denies the divinity of the Son, then he has denied the Father also. God is Trinity – three in one. There is no way one can exclude the Son and have the Father. Remember, the Son is the way to the Father (John 14:6).
Evidence of the Engagement of those who are True (vv. 20-21). John says that believers have an “anointing from the Holy One.” The “Holy One” could be the Holy Spirit or Christ himself. What is evident is that the anointing is of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit in the believer teaches him/her “all truth” (John 16:13). That means that inherent in the believer is an affinity for the truth, an innate ability to separate the truth from lies. We will explore this further in tomorrow’s passage, but this calls for self–examination.
If a person has never given his/her life to Christ, then that person is easy prey to the liars and false teachers. Those who hold out and resist the conviction of the Holy Spirit, expose themselves to the danger of deception.
Your Loving Pastor Chris